Opinion: Arizona Cardinals have nothing to lose in starting Clayton Tune

The Arizona Cardinals have a tough QB situation facing them going into the 2023 season.
Arizona Cardinals Training Camp
Arizona Cardinals Training Camp / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

With obvious franchise QB Kyler Murray's health surrounded with question marks, the Arizona Cardinals need to make a decision about who will be their starter come Week 1. While some believe that Murray himself will be ready by then, his health is not a certainty, and a backup plan is a necessity going into the regular season.

The Cardinals already have a veteran backup in Colt McCoy, but in a season in which there is very little expectation for Arizona to excel, allowing the rookie to get some NFL reps can only benefit him and the team.

Colt McCoy has been a serviceable backup in some of Kyler Murray's absences over the last two seasons, but a rough training camp for the aging veteran suggests he might not be more beneficial to start than an unproven rookie. In the last two seasons, Colt McCoy had a 3-3 record filling in for Murray, with a 4/4 TD/INT ratio and 1520 yards in those six starts. He helped keep the team afloat when it was in the midst of fighting for a playoff spot, but offered little flash or playmaking ability.

With many outlets projecting an unrealistic 15 or more loss season for the Cardinals, and a clear idea that this is a rebuilding year under first-year HC Jonathan Gannon and GM Monti Ossenfort, the only downside to giving a rookie a shot to prove himself is the chance that Arizona will live up to its exact expectations. At worst, the Cardinals are in line for a collection of high draft picks, owning five picks, including two first-round picks in the first three rounds of 2024.

Arizona Cardinals should give Clayton Tune a long look over Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy was given a rest day during early training camp, and then proceeded to throw multiple picks in his first day back. While there is little to truly speculate about training camp numbers, Tune has looked strong, while McCoy's best performance is no more eye-popping than what we're used to seeing from him.

In a season where there is so much uncertainty surrounding an unproven roster and coaching staff, this is the prime time to see what your fifth-round QB can do. At best, you find a diamond in the rough who can help your team compete in a tough year, and at worst, you end up back on the top of the draft board ready to reload and improve in 2024.

The Cardinals should absolutely let Tune take the reigns in the first few weeks of the season, if Kyler Murray is unable to perform right away. We know what McCoy has to offer, so bank on the unproven potential of the young kid.


(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)